Dom DeLuise

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Dom DeLuise
Dom Deluise Allan Warren.jpg
DeLuise in 1975
Dominick DeLuise

(1933-08-01)August 1, 1933
DiedMay 4, 2009(2009-05-04) (aged 75)
Resting placeCalvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens, New York, U.S.
Alma materTufts University
OccupationActor, voice actor, comedian, director, producer, author
Years active1961–2009
Carol Arthur (m. 1965)
ChildrenPeter DeLuise
Michael DeLuise
David DeLuise

Dominick DeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009) was an American actor, voice actor, comedian, director, producer, chef and author. He starred in a number of movies directed by Mel Brooks, in a series of films with career-long best friend Burt Reynolds, and as a voice actor in various animated films by Don Bluth.

Early life[edit]

DeLuise was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian American parents Vincenza "Jennie" (née DeStefano), a homemaker, and John DeLuise, a public employee (garbage collector). He was the youngest of three children, having an older brother, Nicholas "Nick" DeLuise, and an older sister, Antoinette DeLuise-Daurio.[1] DeLuise graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts and later attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts where he majored in biology.[2] DeLuise was Roman Catholic and had a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary.[3]


In 1961, DeLuise played in the Off-Broadway musical revue Another Evening with Harry Stoons,[4] which lasted nine previews and one performance.[5] Another member of the cast was 19-year-old Barbra Streisand. He was also in the Off-Broadway play All in Love, which opened on November 10, 1961, at the Martinique Theatre and ran for 141 performances.[6] Other New York theater performances included Half-Past Wednesday (Off-Broadway) (1962), Around the World in 80 Days (Off-Broadway) (1963), The Student Gypsy (Broadway) (1963), Here's Love (Broadway) (1963), and Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Broadway) (1969).[7]

DeLuise generally appeared in comedic parts, although an early appearance in the movie Fail-Safe as a nervous USAF technical sergeant showed a broader range. His first acting credit was as a regular performer in the television show The Entertainers in 1964. He gained early notice for his supporting turn in the Doris Day film The Glass Bottom Boat (1966). In his review in The New York Times, Vincent Canby panned the film but singled out the actor, stating, "[T]he best of the lot, however, is a newcomer, Dom DeLuise, as a portly, bird-brained spy."[8]

In the 1970s and 1980s, he often co-starred with Burt Reynolds. Together they appeared in the films The Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II, Smokey and the Bandit II, The End, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. DeLuise was the host of the television show Candid Camera from 1991 to 1992. He was a mainstay of Burke's Law, an American television series that aired on CBS during the 1993–94 and 1994–95 television seasons.

DeLuise also lent his distinct voice to various animated films and was a particular staple of Don Bluth's features, playing major roles in The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, A Troll in Central Park and All Dogs Go to Heaven. All Dogs Go to Heaven also featured Reynolds' voice as Charlie B. Barkin, the cheeky anti-hero, and DeLuise voiced Itchy Itchiford, Charlie's best friend, wing-man and later partner in business. Unlike DeLuise, however, Reynolds did not voice Charlie in any of the eventual film sequels, TV episodes, TV-episode sequels, or TV series. DeLuise also voiced the legendary character of Charles Dickens' Fagin in the Walt Disney film Oliver & Company and made voice guest appearances on several animated TV series.

The handprints of Dom DeLuise in Atlantic City, New Jersey

TV producer Greg Garrison hired DeLuise to appear as a specialty act on The Dean Martin Show. DeLuise ran through his "Dominick the Great" routine, a riotous example of a magic act gone wrong, with host Martin as a bemused volunteer from the audience. Dom's catch phrase, with an Italian accent, was "No Applause Please, Save-a to the End." The show went so well that DeLuise was soon a regular on Martin's program, participating in both songs and sketches. Garrison also featured DeLuise in his own hour-long comedy specials for ABC. (Martin was often off-camera when these were taped, and his distinctive laugh can be heard.)

In 1968, DeLuise hosted his own hour-long comedy variety series for CBS, The Dom DeLuise Show. Taped in Miami at The Jackie Gleason Theater, it featured many regular Gleason show cast members including The June Taylor Dancers and The Sammy Spear Orchestra. DeLuise's wife Carol Arthur also regularly appeared. The 16-week run was the summer replacement for The Jonathan Winters Show. He later starred in his own sitcom, Lotsa Luck (1973–1974).

DeLuise was probably best known as a regular in Mel Brooks' films. He appeared in The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Brooks' late wife, actress Anne Bancroft, directed Dom in Fatso (1980).[9] He also had a cameo in Johnny Dangerously as the Pope and in Jim Henson's The Muppet Movie as a wayward Hollywood talent agent who comes across Kermit the Frog singing "The Rainbow Connection" in the film's opening scene. He also guest-starred in Season 2 Episode 11 of The Muppet Show, where he interacted with Miss Piggy and appeared with fellow Brooks regulars Gene Wilder (who directed the film as well), Marty Feldman, and Madeline Kahn in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, as well as alongside Wilder and Gilda Radner in a later Gene Wilder-directed film, Haunted Honeymoon, an unfortunate box office bomb for which his performance (in drag) won him the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress. He also appeared in Stargate SG-1 as Urgo.

DeLuise exhibited his comedic talents while playing the speaking part of the jailer Frosch in the comedic operetta Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, playing the role in four separate revivals of the work at the Met between December 1989 and January 1996. In the production, while the singing was in German, the spoken parts were in English. A lifelong opera fan, he also portrayed the role of L'Opinion Publique in drag for the Los Angeles Opera's production of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld.[10]

An avid cook and author of several books on cooking, he appeared as a regular contributor to a syndicated home improvement radio show, On The House with The Carey Brothers, giving listeners tips on culinary topics.[11] He was also a friend and self-proclaimed "look-alike" of famous Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme and author of seven children's books.

Personal life[edit]

In 1964, while working in a Provincetown, Massachusetts, summer theater, DeLuise met actress Carol Arthur. They married in 1965[12][13] and had three sons, all of whom are actors: Peter, Michael, and David DeLuise.[13]


DeLuise died of kidney failure on May 4, 2009, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, at age 75.[13] He had been battling cancer for more than a year prior to his death.[14]

Burt Reynolds paid tribute to Deluise in the Los Angeles Times, saying: "As you get older and start to lose people you love, you think about it more, and I was dreading this moment. Dom always made you feel better when he was around, and there will never be another like him."[15] Mel Brooks also made a statement to the same paper, telling them that DeLuise "created so much joy and laughter on the set that you couldn’t get your work done. So every time I made a movie with Dom, I would plan another two days on the schedule just for laughter. It's a sad day. It's hard to think of this life and this world without him."[12]



List of performances in films
Year Title Role Notes
1964 Diary of a Bachelor Marvin Rollins
1964 Fail Safe Sgt. Collins
1966 The Glass Bottom Boat Julius Pritter
1967 The Busy Body Kurt Brock
1968 What's So Bad About Feeling Good? J. Gardner Monroe
1970 Norwood Bill Bird
1970 The Twelve Chairs Father Fyodor
1971 Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Irwin Marcy
1972 Every Little Crook and Nanny Mario Azzecca
1974 Blazing Saddles Buddy Bizarre
1974 Only with Married Men Murray West TV Movie
1975 The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Eduardo Gambetti
1976 Silent Movie Dom Bell
1977 The World's Greatest Lover Adolph Zitz
1978 Sextette Dan Turner
1978 The End Marlon Borunki
1978 The Cheap Detective Pepe Damascus
1979 Hot Stuff Ernie Fortunato Also director
1979 The Muppet Movie Bernie the Agent Cameo
1980 Fatso Dominic DeNapoli
1980 The Last Married Couple in America Walter Holmes
1980 Wholly Moses! Shadrach
1980 Smokey and the Bandit II Dr. Frederico "Doc" Carlucci
1981 History of the World, Part I Emperor Nero
1981 The Cannonball Run Victor Prinzi / Captain Chaos
1982 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Melvin P. Thorpe
1984 Cannonball Run II Victor Prinzi / Captain Chaos / Don Canneloni
1984 Johnny Dangerously The Pope
1986 Haunted Honeymoon Aunt Mary Kate
1987 Going Bananas Big Bad Joe Hopkins
1987 A Taxi Driver in New York Captain T. Favretto
1989 The Princess and the Dwarf The King
1990 Loose Cannons Harry Gutterman
1991 Driving Me Crazy Mr. B Alternate title: Trabbi Goes to Hollywood
1992 Almost Pregnant Doctor Beckhard
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Don Giovanni
1994 The Silence of the Hams Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza
1994 Don't Drink the Water Father Drobney TV Movie
1995 The Tin Soldier Mr. Fallon TV Movie
1996 Red Line Jerry
1997 The Good Bad Guys The Judge
1998 Between the Sheets Cameo
1998 The Godson The Oddfather
1999 My X-Girlfriend's Wedding Reception Father O'Rdeal
1999 Boys Will Be Boys Chef TV Movie; also director
1999 Baby Geniuses Lenny
2000 The Ivan Lucre
2001 Always Greener
2002 It's All About You
2004 Girl Play Gabriel
2004 Breaking the Fifth Flealand Cunchulis

Animation (and other voice work)[edit]

List of voice performances in films
Year Title Role Notes
1981 Peter-No-Tail English version
1982 The Secret of NIMH Jeremy [16]
1986 An American Tail Tiger [16]
1987 Spaceballs Pizza the Hutt
1988 Oliver & Company Fagin [16]
1989 All Dogs Go to Heaven Itchy Itchiford [16]
1990 Happily Ever After The Looking Glass [16]
1991 Dragon and Slippers Goliath the Dragon English version[16]
1991 An American Tail: Fievel Goes West Tiger [16]
1992 The Magic Voyage Christopher Columbus English version[16]
1992 Munchie Munchie [16]
1993 The Skateboard Kid Rip [16]
1994 A Troll in Central Park Stanley [16]
1996 All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Itchy Itchiford [16]
1998 An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island Tiger Direct-to-video[16]
1998 An All Dogs Christmas Carol Itchy / Ghost of Christmas Past Television film[16]
1998 The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Jeremy Direct-to-video[16]
2000 An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster Tiger Direct-to-video[16]
2000 Lion of Oz Oscar Diggs Credited as Dom DeLuises[16]
2003 Remembering Mario Mario
2006 Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm Myrin


List of voice performances in television series
Year Title Role Notes
1972 The Roman Holidays Mr. Evictus Episode: "Hectic Holiday"
1990 Timeless Tales from Hallmark The Emperor Episode: "The Emperor's New Clothes"
1991–1992 Fievel's American Tails Tiger 13 Episodes
1993 Married... with Children Floyd the Dog Episode: "Change for a Buck"
1994 The Magic School Bus Baker Episode: "Get Ready, Set, Dough"
1995 The Ren & Stimpy Show Big Kahuna Episode: "Pixie King/Aloha Hoek"
1997 Duckman The Governor Episode: "A Star Is Abhorred"
1997 Cow and Chicken Jean-Paul Beaver / Governor #2 / Owl #2
/ Mayor / Frenchman #3 / Neighbor #2
2 Episodes[16]
1998 Police Academy: The Series Zeus Episode: "Bring Me the Turtle of Commandant Hefilfinger"
1998 Hercules: The Animated Series Bacchus Episode: "Hercules and the Bacchanal"
1996–1998 All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series Itchy Itchiford 20 Episodes[16]
1998 The Wild Thornberrys Baby Condor Episode: "Flight of the Donnie"[16]
1997–1999 I Am Weasel Mayor / Frenchman #3 / Neighbor #2 2 Episodes
1998-1999 The Charlie Horse Music Pizza Cookie 23 Episodes
1999 Stargate SG-1 Urgo Episode 316 (S3E16 Urgo)
2002 Rugrats Director Episode: "Starstruck/Who's Taffy?"
1997–2003 Dexter's Laboratory Koosy / Koosalagoopagoop 4 Episodes
2004 Father of the Pride Duke Episode: "One Man's Meat Is Another Man's Girlfriend"
2005 Robot Chicken Victor Prinzim / Himself Episode: "Gold Dust Gasoline"
2005 Duck Dodgers Roy Serpenti Episode: "All in the Crime Family"[16]
2009 Spaceballs: The Animated Series Pizza the Hutt Episode: "Pilot Part 1: The Avenge of Dark Helmet" (Final acting role)

Video games[edit]


Writings for children[edit]

  • Charlie the Caterpillar, illustrated by Christopher Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1990
  • Goldilocks (also known as Goldie Locks & The Three Bears: The Real Story!), illustrated by Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1992
  • Hansel & Gretel, by Santoro, Simon & Schuster,1997
  • The Nightingale (also known as Dom DeLuise's The Nightingale), illustrated by Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1998
  • King Bob's New Clothes, illustrated by Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1999
  • The Pouch Potato, illustrated by Derek Carter, Bacchus Books, 2001
  • There's No Place Like Home, illustrated by Tim Brown


  • Eat This ... It Will Make You Feel Better: Mamma's Italian Home Cooking and Other Favorites of Family and Friends (also known as Eat This), Simon & Schuster, 1988
  • Eat This Too! It'll Also Make You Feel Better (also known as Eat This Too!), Atria, 1997
  • The Pizza Challenge


  1. ^ "Dom Deluise Biography (1933- )". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  2. ^ Nathan Southern. "Dom DeLuise Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Barbra Archives". Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  5. ^ Streisand, Barbra. "Value". Live at the Bon Soir (1962). Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "All in Love Original Off-Broadway Cast - 1961 Off-Broadway". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Dom DeLuise Theatre Credits". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Vincent Canby (June 10, 1966). "Movie Review: The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  9. ^ Heather Buckley (March 9, 2010). "Horror at the Oscars Part 2: This Time it's Personal". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  10. ^ "Obituaries: Actors Dom DeLuise and Beatrice Arthur; mezzo Margreta Elkins; soprano Anne Brown, Gershwin's original Bess; composer Lukas Foss dies at eighty-six". Opera News. 74 (1). July 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  11. ^ "In The Kitchen with Dom DeLuise". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  12. ^ a b McLellan, Dennis (May 6, 2009). "Dom DeLuise dies at 75; actor was a 'naturally funny man'". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California: Tronc. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c Grimes, William (May 5, 2009). "Dom DeLuise, Comic Actor, Dies at 75". The New York Times. New York City: New York Times Company. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  14. ^ "Dom DeLuise dies at 75". CNN. June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  15. ^ "Actor, Dom DeLuise dies at 75". Press. May 5, 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Dom DeLuise - 36 Character Images". Behind The Voice Actors.
  17. ^ Garlen, Jennifer C.; Graham, Anissa M. (2009). Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's Muppets. McFarland & Company. p. 218. ISBN 078644259X.

External links[edit]